US Government Increases Cell Phone Location Data Requests to Verizon in 2017

© AP Photo / Bebeto MatthewsIn this Tuesday, May 2, 2017 photo, people walk past a Verizon store in Manhattan's midtown area, in New York
In this Tuesday, May 2, 2017 photo, people walk past a Verizon store in Manhattan's midtown area, in New York - Sputnik International
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In the first six month of 2017, Verizon has received a total of 138,773 requests from the US federal government - subpoenas, orders, warrants and emergency requests - versus 129,249 demands in the second half of 2016, according to the company's report.

A Verizon wireless cellphone store is seen in Falls Church, Virginia, December 30, 2014. - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Requests for release of internet provider Verizon customers’ cell phone location information by the US federal government have increased in the first half of 2017, the company said in its transparency report.

In the first six month of 2017, Verizon has received a total of 138,773 requests — subpoenas, orders, warrants and emergency requests — versus 129,249 demands in the second half of 2016, the reports revealed.

"The vast majority of these various types of demands relate to our consumer customers; we receive relatively few demands regarding our enterprise customers," the report said. "We do not release customer information unless authorized by law."

A woman on her cell phone walks past a Verizon Wireless store in Washington - Sputnik International
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From January to July 2017, Verizon received 68,237 subpoenas seeking information regarding 116,521 information points, such as a telephone number, which are used to identify a customer, the report noted.

In the past six months, Verizon has received 10,674 warrants and 32,337 court orders signed by a judge.

The number of warrants in the second half of 2016 were slightly lower, while wiretap and trap and trace orders increased in 2017, the report said.

To obtain a warrant, police must prove the information sought could be related to a crime, the report added.

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